Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, by Gordon S. Wood
A majestic dual biography of two of America's most enduringly fascinating figures, whose partnership helped birth a nation, and whose subsequent falling out did much to fix its course.
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book.
A Wall Street Journal Best Book.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams could scarcely have come from more different worlds, or been more different in temperament. Jefferson, the optimist with enough faith in the innate goodness of his fellow man to be democracy's champion, was an aristocratic Southern slaveowner. Adams, the overachiever from New England's rising middling classes, painfully aware he was no aristocrat, was a sceptic about popular rule and a defender of a more elitist view of government. They worked closely in the crucible of revolution, crafting the Declaration of Independence, but ultimately, their profound differences would lead to a fundamental crisis
But late in life, something remarkable happened: these two men were nudged into reconciliation.
"An illuminating history of early Americans that is especially timely in the ugly, partisan-filled age of Trump.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review